Your photography guide to London’s Frieze Week

Kanagawa, 1967. From A Hunter © Daido Moriyama/Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation. All other images © the artists

Most of the best photography is being shown beyond The Regent’s Park tent, as institutions and galleries mount their biggest shows of the year for the visiting masses

Before we get to our list of essential photography shows to see during Frieze week, a few tips for those attending the fair itself and in need of a photo-dose. Thaddaeus Ropac includes Robert Mapplethorpe in its booth alongside its big-hitters Alvaro Barrington, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz, while also mounting an Irving Penn solo exhibition in Paris. Arcadia Missa shows pictures by Rene Matić, fresh from their successful show at the Martin Parr Foundation this summer. Cape Town’s blank projects presents Thembinkosi Hlatshwayo and the excellent Sabelo Mlangeni, whose pictures expand our understanding of South African identities in sharp city snapshots. And Sprüth Magers features Cao Fei – we’re excited to see how her work sits alongside Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger and Anne Imhof – while Noémie Goudal will round off a successful year with inclusion in Edel Assanti’s showcase.

Wolfgang Tillmans has selected Mark Barker for a solo show at Frieze London as part of the Artist-to-Artist initiative, with his eerie photographs of Berlin an important part of his sculpture-led practice. And lastly, Adham Faramawy has made two print editions as part of his Frieze Artist Award commission, the proceeds from which will be donated to Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers. At £120, they return a sense of sanity to the prices in London this week.

Shirin Neshat, The Fury (Goodman Gallery)

The Iranian artist returns to London with a new film and portrait series continuing her decades-long commentary on how women’s bodies are dominated, concealed and abused in patriarchal societies. This time though, Neshat photographs her female subjects naked, inscribing her works with calligraphic poetic texts, or as single ‘logos’ in the corner of the towering prints. The film is a rumination on sexual assault and the sinister nature of male power in uniform, moving between dance-led allegory and dark, bruising reality. But as is the case in her 1999 film Rapture – and, arguably, her seminal Women of Allah series – female power emerges in unexpected and resolute forms. 

Mayfair, until 08 November

Daidō Moriyama, A Retrospective (The Photographers’ Gallery)

Moriyama is a master of the medium, partly because of his restless desire to question it. Born in Osaka in 1938, he started out photographing the gritty streets of Tokyo during its postwar cultural upheaval. His 1972 monograph Farewell Photography pushes photography to its limits, deconstructing its physical properties while scrutinising the act of looking. It’s a whole-building takeover at TPG this autumn, which includes Moriyama’s huge wallpapers, a reading room, and vitrines brimming with his magazine work.

Soho, until 11 February 2024

Amber Pinkerton, Self Dialogues: Hard Food (Alice Black)

This is the best chance yet to dive into the artistic practice of a photographer who has been making waves on the fashion and editorial circuit for the last five years. Jamaica-born Pinkerton makes work about her own migration to the UK in 2016, but it is shrouded in nature-inspired allegories and freeze-frame-like arrangements across the show’s pink walls. A 6-channel film and sound works show ambition beyond the still image, adding to the sense of circularity which the pictures suggest. 

Fitzrovia, until 11 November

Daniel Meadows, Free Photographic Omnibus, 50th Anniversary (Centre for British Photography)

In 1973, Meadows set off on a road trip around the UK in an old doubledecker bus. He made portraits of those he encountered and offered them portraits, printing in a makeshift darkroom. The work has since been celebrated as a record of the UK in the 1970s – and hailed as a more egalitarian, participatory way of working. Lesser known are the documentary images he also took along the way, which form the backbone of Meadows’ show at the Centre of British Photography. It’s a vast survey, but every image is a gem. 

St. James’s, until 17 December

Farah Al Qasimi, Abort, Retry, Fail (Delfina Foundation)

Abu Dhabi-born Farah Al Qasimi belongs to a new generation of image-makers inspired by gaming as much as traditional media. She’s an intellectual and artistic force to be reckoned with, studying fine art at Yale and now teaching across the US and Dubai. Abort, Retry, Fail deftly shows both strands, combining images of gamers – lit by blue screens and immersed in virtual worlds – with thought-provoking meditations on the natural world. A large, flowery wallpaper is bifurcated with images of oranges and an apparently dying sun; a video installation combines footage of insects with multiple screens and a quest narrative, with a cushioned floor for relaxing into her creation.

Victoria, until 20 November

Hiroshi Sugimoto (Hayward Gallery)

This is a rare whole-career retrospective of the Japanese conceptualist, with all of Sugimoto’s most renowned series on display. Theaters saw him fix his shutter at a wide-open aperture for the whole length of a film, while in Diorama he photographed natural history museum displays as if they were real wildlife scenes. These are pictures which make us question what photography is actually trying to achieve. Can’t artifice be just as rewarding as authenticity? And anyway, how can we judge what’s real when the vehicle for our information is a tool as manipulable as the camera? (To find out more about Sugimoto’s process, you can read Marigold Warner’s studio visit from our Spatial Awareness issue here.) 

Waterloo, until 07 January 2024

Hélène Amouzou, Voyages (Autograph)

The Togolese artist is known for her ‘autoportraits’ which play with ideas of fading and visibility to reflect ideas of exile and the realities of migration. Amouzou is a spectre across several of these black-and-white shots, lingering between home, transit and new destinations. Many of the pictures were made when she was seeking asylum in Belgium, adding a diaristic edge to the show, which is curated by the ever-impressive Bindi Vora.

Shoreditch, until 20 January 2024

Lisetta Carmi, Identities (Estorick Collection)

The Estorick Collection continues its strong showing in its 25th anniversary year, spotlighting Italian modernist art. Carmi’s radical documentary work has been receiving renewed attention in recent years after a major show in Rome – and again since her death last year aged 98. Her depictions of working-class and trans communities in her native Genoa in the 1960s remain a classic and prescient depiction of queer resilience in a time of conservatism, while shades of Helen Levitt and Nan Goldin ripple alongside more industrial shots of Genoa’s bustling port.

Canonbury, until 17 December

Poetry of the Everyday: Chilean Photography Under a Dictatorship, 1973-1990 (Augusta Edwards) 

On the 50th anniversary of the 1973 coup d’état which ushered in Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile, Augusta Edwards presents a show which looks to uncover what became of photographic artists when the repression took hold – away from the avant-garde and photojournalists resisting the regime. The work of Alvaro Hoppe, Marcelo Montecino, Mauricio Valenzuela, Leonora Vicuña and Jaime Villaseca ranges from streetside documentary to conceptual musings on the fractious political situation.

South Kensington, until 15 October

Frieze London is at The Regent’s Park, from 11-15th October